Why Do Horses Wear Fly Masks?

Once springtime has come around and especially during the sunny summertime, you have probably already seen some horses walking around with a specific kind of mask covering a big part of their faces. Well, such a mask is better known as a fly mask, but why do horses need to wear it exactly?

To keep the answer short, a fly mask is mostly meant to keep flies and other bugs away from a horse’s eyes and face since these kinds of bugs are present in extremely, big numbers when it’s hot outside. However, this all does require a little bit more explanation if you want to really get a good picture of the usefulness of a fly mask!

What Is a Fly Mask?

Now, in order to answer the above-asked question more in detail, it’s first and foremost necessary to grasp the idea of what a fly mask essentially is. Basically, a fly mask is a particular kind of mask that’s specifically designed to protect a horse’s eyes and head against different kinds of irritations that they might encounter, ranging from flying insects to the heat and radiation of the sun. Most of the time, a fly mask also consists of a special type of gauze that should make it possible for a horse to see properly without flies and other bugs irritating their eyes.

Furthermore, it’s important to mention that fly masks come in practically every shape and size, so every horse can be satisfied in this department. For example, there are fly masks that offer protection to a horse’s ear as well, but there are also masks that leave the ears completely free if needed to be. The same can be said when it comes to the protection of a horse’s nose! That is, there are also different kinds of masks in that aspect. Consequently, you’ll have to make sure that you purchase the right kind of fly mask that fits your specific horse perfectly!

Why Do Horses Wear Fly Masks?

Now that it has been established decently what fly masks exactly are, it’s time to cut to the case. Namely, it’s time to explore all the different purposes such a fly mask has for horses and why a horse could definitely benefit from wearing one!

Protection against bugs

First and foremost, as the name of the mask suggests, a fly mask is mainly meant to keep the flies away from a horse’s eyes and field of view. Of course, this also applies to other types of bugs as well, ranging from horse flies and bees and wasps, to just name a few. Especially during the summer when the weather is particularly hot, many horses have to endure the presence of a lot of flying bugs and such around them when they’re walking outside. That is, not only do these flies get in their field of view, which is impractical, to say the least, but some of these bugs can also bite or sting a horse’s eyes. It should be noted that not every horse is equally affected by this nuisance, but it’s still something to take into account!

When flies pester a horse on different places of their body, the said horse is capable of swatting those flies away with their tail. However, when flies pester a horse’s eyes, a tail isn’t exactly helpful in this aspect and that’s precisely where fly masks come in handy!


While protection against flies and such is the most evident reason why a horse should wear a fly mask, there’s also another pertinent reason involved. Specifically, a fly mask also has the power to protect a horse against UV-radiation and the heat of the sun on their face. To be less abstract, such a mask keeps the sun away from a horse’s eyes, which is something that most horses definitely appreciate. Even more so, horses tend to get burned from the sun very easily on their noses and that’s precisely why fly masks that offer nose protection as well are very helpful in this aspect!


To conclude, horses can absolutely benefit from wearing a fly mask, not only to escape the wrath of flies and other bugs flying around their eyes but also to get away from the heat and radiation of the sun a little bit. One last thing to keep in mind is that a fly mask doesn’t cause extra stress or something like that for horses. Most horses get used to the feeling of a fly mask very quickly, so that’s definitely an added plus!